Belfast Telegraph

Troubles legacy consultation to go ahead

By Noel McAdam

The Government is to push ahead with a public consultation on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles despite the failure of the Stormont parties to reach a deal on restoring devolution.

But the timing of the plan remains unclear, with Secretary of State James Brokenshire still reflecting on the way forward.

He also intends to hold further talks with victims' representatives, including Victims' Commissioner Judith Thompson. The Government's reluctance to move towards direct rule or another Assembly election has led to speculation that the legacy issue would remain in limbo.

But a spokesman for Mr Brokenshire told the Belfast Telegraph he was keen to avoid the appearance of further drift.

"The Government is committed to consulting on the legacy proposals," he said.

"Following developments in the recent talks, the Secretary of State is reflecting carefully on the next steps for taking forward the legacy consultation, including on further engagement with representatives of victims and survivors."

At the core of the proposals is believed to be a £150m package covering the costs of an Historical Investigations Unit, Independent Commission on Information Retrieval, an archive and a reconciliation element.

The Victims and Survivors Forum has suggested the consultation period should be at least 12 weeks, but perhaps up to 20.

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